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Advocates want voters to overturn pot shop ban

Lev Goukassian, owner of the Nirvana Pha


Supporters of medical marijuana are working on a referendum campaign to overturn the city of Los Angeles' ban on pot shops.

Advocates of medical marijuana are hitting back at the city of Los Angeles’ ban on pot shops with a referendum, an ordinance and possibly a lawsuit.

One day after the Los Angeles City Council moved to close the 800 to 1,000 medical marijuana clinics that are in operation, representatives with Americans for Safe Access said they are working on a referendum to repeal the law.

“It’s not an initiative. The referendum would simply delay the implementation of the ordinance until either the city council rescinds it, which we would certainly endorse, or gets put on the ballot,” said Kris Hermes, a spokesman with Americans for Safe Access.

Advocates would need to gather 27,425 valid signatures to get the referendum on the ballot, according to the City Clerk’s Office. Petitions would need to be filed by Sept. 21 for the referendum to qualify for the city’s March ballot. For the May 2013 ballot, petitions could be filed until Dec. 7.